Garmin has unveiled firmware update 14.36. It addresses battery drain issues on some user’s Fenix 7 and Epix 2 watches caused by an earlier version of the software.
Garmin’s recent 14.31 firmware update for the Fenix 7 and Epix 2 Series had been met with anticipation, given its extensive list of new features and improvements. However, the rollout may have been temporarily paused earlier today due to reports of excessive battery drain. While Garmin initially indicated that the issue was confined to users in the SE Asia and APAC regions, reports had surfaced from European users as well. Now the company has issued a fix.
The 14.31 update for Garmin’s Fenix 7 and Epix 2 Series introduced a plethora of new activity types, including American Football, Ice Hockey, and Cricket, among others. It also added Device Settings Backup and Restore, multiple location support in the weather app, and a new Gaming App. Along with this it brought Workouts App enhancements and support for Hill Score and Endurance Score features. The update also improved the Golf “Plays Like” feature and introduced a Multisport option for the race calendar. On the technical side, it fixed various bugs. So quite an extensive software upgrade.
User experiences – significant battery drain
The problem manifested as a significant drop in battery life post-update. For instance, one user reported a drop from 60% to 36% overnight. Another mentioned a 100% to 60% drop in just 15 hours. The issue seemed to be widespread, affecting various models and users with different settings and usage patterns. There are long threads on Garmin forums going back about a week discussing the issue.
Official response and community solutions
Garmin acknowledged that there was a problem. In fact, there were suggestions the company had paused the rollout.
Now the company has issued a fix. Here’s Garmin’s statement.
Please note, this software announcement is different than our usual Beta Software announcement.
We are currently in the process of officially releasing our 14.xx software to the general public. We started this process with v14.31, and are now replacing that software version with v14.36.
The 14.36 update is now at 30% Phased Rollout to all customers, it is not restricted to enrolled Public Beta users. Anyone enrolled in Public Beta can request the 14.36 update immediately via your watch: go to Menu – System – Software Update – Check for Updates.
Our beta bug report sections are still open and you can submit feedback there if you notice an issue. Please note that bugs reported now will be examined, but software changes are unlikely to be made in v14.36+ now, unless the issue is extremely critical (which it was for version 14.31 -> 14.36.) We still welcome your feedback as we are always working to improve software!
Change log for version 14.36 (only changes since 14.31, previous Beta release)
Fixed an issue that could cause severe battery drain for users with a Garmin Pay wallet and with 14.31 (or earlier) installed.
Prior to this, users have found that downgrading to the previous firmware version, 13.22, alleviates the problem. If we take Epix 2 models as an example – the process involves downloading specific 13.22 firmware file from Garmin’s official website.
- Download link for Epix Gen2 13.22
- Download link for Epix Pro 42mm 13.22
- Download link for Epix Pro 47mm 13.22
- Download link for Epix Pro 51mm 13.22
After downloading, extract the ZIP file to reveal two key files: “force.tmp” and “gupdate.gsp.” Connect your Epix 2 Pro to your computer via USB and navigate to the Garmin folder on the device. Copy both the “force.tmp” and “gupdate.gsp” files into this folder. Safely eject the device from your computer and unplug it. A prompt to install the update should appear on your watch; accept it to initiate the downgrade. Once the process is complete, navigate to the device settings and turn off Auto Updates to prevent the watch from automatically reinstalling the problematic 14.31 update.
Garmin says users should not return their device to the service center, as the issue clearly manifests post-update, regardless of the hardware. Only do this if you’ve experienced a battery drain problem prior to the latest firmware update.
While it’s not entirely clear what’s caused the battery drain, it seems that one or more of the new features introduced in the 14.31 update was interfering with the Garmin Pay wallet. It is not the first time battery drain issues have happened, and it certainly will not be the last time. Having said that, it is strange that the issue was not spotted while the software was in Beta. To remind, version 14.31 was a public release.
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Given the complexity of modern smartwatches, even a minor change can have unintended consequences on system performance and battery life. If you’ve installed version 14.31, make sure to upgrade to 14.36. That should iron out any battery drain issues you may be experiencing.
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